Mac Finally Gets Cortana Support Thanks to Parallels Desktop 11

Parallels, a company well known for its cross-platform solutions, has a surprise for Mac users: they’ve managed to bring over Windows 10’s virtual assistant software, Cortana, to their Parallels Desktop 11 users.

Cortana Gets More… Virtual

Parallels has been in the business of bringing OS-virtualization software for many years now, and they’ve grown to be quite good at it. Version 11 of their newest software is bringing a host of new features to the platform, but Cortana might be the most noteworthy, if not the most novel one.

Now, anyone familiar with Parallels, or their products, knows there is one caveat to this: Parallels Desktop is a virtual machine. That means that you won’t be installing the Cortana software directly onto your Mac computer in the same way you might install Photoshop. Instead, the software creates a virtual instance of a licensed version of Windows 10 in a blended sort of way.

This means that you are essentially running Windows 10 inside a window on your Mac. It’s a confusing concept to understand when you’re not experiencing the software yourself.

Read more about Cortana here!

When Worlds Collide

Parallels is most notably known for the way they’ve been able to seamlessly blend virtual machines into Mac OS, and they’ve done some cool stuff with Cortana, too. For instance, Cortana will pop up from the OS X dock if you say “Hey, Cortana,” similar to how it works on Windows 10. It can also launch Mac apps in addition to its normal functions like checking the weather, searching the internet, and the usual.

Cortana aside, Mac users can also use features from OS X on Windows apps. For instance, Macs that sport Force-Touch touchpads can use them to look up word definitions in Microsoft Word.

Get it Now

Parallels Desktop 11 will be available on Wednesday, so if you’re reading this article then you can go check out their site now to pick it up. You will need a Windows 10 license though, and if you don’t already have Parallels Desktop then the standalone will set you back $79.99. Current users will have to pay a $49.99 upgrade fee. There is also a Pro edition, which features developer tools and cloud storage for $49.99 a year.

Here’s the link for the new Cortana-wielding software.

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